Jun 18

Dragonflies in Amber

four dragonflies

This technique was something I kind of made up, because the other students in the class just did their own, straightforward projects.  I saw that someone was using mica pigments on her glass work, and I have a bunch of those that I use for mixed media.  Naturally, the ones made for glass are expensive.

When you fuse glass pieces together, you glue the glass with a special kind of glue that will burn out in the kiln.  Some recommended elmer’s glue (it’s crap) and some recommended super glue (fine, but unforgiving) and other people ponied up for the glass glue (of course it costs more.)  Then someone recommended hair spray.

To make these dragonflies, I started by taping masking tape over a sheet of amber glass. Then I used a very sharp exacto knife to cut out the dragonflies.  I had printed out pictures of dragonflies before hand to use as a reference, but the cutting was done freehand.  Using the tip of the blade, I lifted the center part of the tape out, then sprayed it with the hairspray. Before it was dried, I dusted it with mica pigments. Once the hairspray dried, I shook off the extra mica pigment, then carefully lifted the tape to reveal the dragonfly.

Part of the reason why I chose this concept was that I bought more tinted amber and yellow glass than clear glass, and I wanted something that would show even when the glass was not completely transparent. As you can see from the image, not all of the mica pigments work perfectly. The one at the bottom right is aluminum, and it burned up and turned black.  The one at the top left burned, and made an air bubble which got trapped in between the glass sheets.

1 comment

    • Amy on June 19, 2010 at 9:06 am

    it’s funny you say the top left didn’t work–maybe the photos aren’t capturing something, but it is the most interesting of the series

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